New Android (Android 11) and Apple (IOS 14) software are now available. We therefore remind you that it is important to update the Info-Excavation application. If you don’t, you won’t have access to the latest features to make your locate requests.
Our mobile application will be updated on June 22, 2020. This update will provide you with many benefits and will enhance user experience.
The following modifications will be done:
- Simplified tools will be available for entering information and worksite location.
- The “Find Me” button will be removed. The app will automatically detect your location when you open the map. You will also be able to do a research to find the street where your work will take place.
- The type of work can be selected once the sketch is provided.
IMPORTANT: Be sure to update your mobile application to take full advantage of these upgrades.
We hope these improvements will greatly simplify your work.
Please send your comments at [email protected]
Seven large underground infrastructure companies (Bell, CSEM, Gazifère, Énergir, Hydro-Québec, Telus and Vidéotron) have established common guidelines to be followed when excavating near underground infrastructures. The first of its kind in Quebec, and perhaps a first in Canada!
Effective immediately, this new document simplifies the excavation work done by contractors near underground infrastructures. Every guideline, technical specification and specific requirement that must be complied with either at the planning stage, before undertaking or during excavation work are described in this document.
It covers, among other things, clearance distance requirements for different infrastructures and backfilling standards to be followed. Each type of excavation method is described, whether mechanical or soft, as drilling techniques and the installation of new underground infrastructures near existing ones.
It is important to note that these new guidelines will replace those provided by these seven companies so as to ensure a safe working environment and to prevent personal injury and damage to underground infrastructures.
This unique document will be available from the network owners collaborating in these guidelines and during the training sessions offered by Info-Excavation. We prefer you consult and use the electronic version which is updated regularly and available on different websites, such as on Info-Excavation’s.
View the electronic version of these guidelines.
Info-Excavation is pleased to announce that its Info-UCN (Urban Coordination Network) application has been upgraded, enabling it to provide service throughout Quebec.
As of last week, Info-UCN uses JMAP version 7 in addition to a new provincial mapping (geobase).
The Info-UCN application enables all public right-of-way users to better plan and coordinate excavation work among themselves, while reducing related costs.
The new provincial geobase will not only enable every municipality in Quebec and owner of underground infrastructures to register their excavation project, but will also serve to inform other public right-of-way users of upcoming projects, making it a perfect platform for exchanging information.
Users stand to gain so much from Info-UCN that Info-Excavation has decided to offer all its members free access to Info-UCN until August 31, 2020. Take advantage!
Visit our website and register to take advantage of the countless benefits this application has to offer.
Following the Quebec government’s new guidelines regarding the closure of nonessential construction sites for the next three weeks, Info-Excavation will maintain its services to answer and process all requests that will be received.
All Info-Excavation employees work remotely and are able to manage all your requests and inquiries whether for regular or emergency excavation work.
You can generate your engineering or locate requests immediately, even if the excavation’s start date is later this summer. The best way to generate these requests is by going to our website or using our mobile app.
Remember to exercise caution when excavating. Be vigilant in preventing damage to underground infrastructures. At this time in particular, repairing these essential infrastructures 0owill be more complicated to ensure everyone’s well-being.
We will inform you of any change in our services without delay.
For some time now, you have been automatically receiving emails warning you that new underground infrastructure was detected in your work zone, which was not initially present in the documents you received after completing your locate request.
On any future such emails, you will notice that it is now mandatory to click on the link to confirm that you have read and acknowledged the content of the email. It is your responsibility to click on this link. Failure to do so means that the analysis of any added infrastructure will not proceed, and you will not receive your clearance, plans or on-site markings, which may increase the risk of damages to any present infrastructure.
Thank you for your collaboration in following this essential new process.
REMINDER: As of March 1, 2020, all locate requests or engineers plan, sent either electronically or made by phone, are required to have a valid email address. It is compulsory that your locate request be confirmed without delay so that the information written on the request is corroborated by you and truly reflects your needs. You will know which owners of underground infrastructures are located in your dig site.
Following the new guidelines given by the Quebec government and the Health and Social Services Minister, Info-Excavation has assessed its capacity to ensure its services during these times of uncertainty.
For now, all services shall be maintained at Info-Excavation. For many years now, several of our employees work remotely and our contingency plan includes the possibility that employees may be unable to reach our offices. That is why our systems make it possible to do remote work.
Furthermore, several precautions have been taken as a continuing effort to serve our existing customers such as contractors, municipalities and businesses.
BY SCOTT LANDES
Communications companies always recover all their costs when their cables are damaged by contractors. If you believe this, I have some bad news… there is no Santa Claus and no Easter Bunny! Communications companies seldom recover anywhere near all of their true costs.
When talking to communications stakeholders who have firsthand experience with damage investigation, claims recovery, and field operations, they all recognize that even if they recover all the actual repair costs, it is still only a fraction of the true costs. When the hard costs are combined with the soft costs, only 40-50% is usually recovered – even when the contractor or locator is 100% at fault. And keep in mind, many times it is neither the locator nor the contractor’s fault.
A seasoned telecommunications professional reviewed the checklist on page 21 for accuracy and responded to me, “It does look like a comprehensive approach but to truly do it justice, you would have to put this in book form. It is sad that things in the corporate world have gotten so busy that no one can really get their head around the scope and effect of damages. To merely provide this list without description should be enough to make anyone sit up and pay attention. Equally so, even those of us who deal with this on a daily basis, although cognizant of the facts, cannot consider all the ramifications when dealing with damages. This is where the corporate world needs to come into play. Just like the repair technician should be concentrating on restoral, and the investigator concentrating on determination of liability and building a solid case, upper management should be aware of and considering all the mitigating factors listed, and the effect not just on the customer, but also on the company as a whole.”
On top of all these costs which have and will continue to impact the facility owner’s bottom line, there are significant societal costs, including lost revenue for businesses, road closures during repairs, people sent home from work due to phone/data services cut off, the severe impact to 911 call centres, and the interruption of services from police, fire, ambulance and other emergency responders which could lead to a loss of life when communications are terminated during a time of crisis.
ln Canada, the CCGA DIRT report estimated in their last national report on damages that societal costs of damages are $1 billion. The 2016 Common Ground Alliance annual DIRT report (CommonGroundAIIiance.com) estimates the U.S. societal costs at over $1 billion.
As you read through this checklist on the costs of a cable cut provided by telecommunications professionals, ask yourself:
- What percent of hard costs and soft costs do I actually collect?
- How do damages affect my brand?
LOST CUSTOMERS: Weather-related loss of service is often acceptable by customers, but loss of service due to non-weather-related issues can lead to the depletion of your customer base, and this cost is not tracked as a cost of damage.
CUSTOMER REBATES/CREDITS: Usually when a customer asks for credit, they get it. This can be expensive. Many customers have Service level Agreements (SLAs) which provide rebates to the customer if service levels are not met; some rebates start the first minute of down time. This cost is not included in the cost of damage.
EMPLOYEE LABOUR COSTS: While these costs may be included as part of the labour charges, the hourly rate may not be the loaded labour rate. Post-restoration time spent on building damage claims is never included in the cost of damage or collected.
REPAIR TECHNICIAN MOBILIZATION: When technicians are pulled away from their regular load to restore damage, overtime is incurred and customer dissatisfaction is created due to deferred repair and installation loads originally scheduled for the day.
ENGINEERING OR REENGINEERING COSTS: There is a reduction in productivity when an engineer is pulled from his work to do emergency design for repairs.
UPDATING RECORDS: A hidden cost associated with damages that is usually removed from a challenged bill as an administrative cost.
LOCATOR EMERGENCY MOBILIZATION: Emergency tickets can be devastating to the locator – rerouting, additional execution time to perform the locate, and the delays to other excavators waiting for locates to perform their work.
MOBILIZATION OF DISPATCH SUPPORT, MONITORING, AND VERIFICATION OF REPAIRS: Again, considered administrative, this is another potentially astronomical cost that is often not even considered.
As a whole, the telecommunications industry is not engaged in damage prevention. Immersed in damage prevention myself since the early ’80s, it has always amazed me how many telecommunications companies do not have damage prevention programs or participate in the Common Ground Alliance. The most common rationale is that it isn’t necessary as they successfully collect the costs of damages. As you can see here, this is not accurate.
Investing in damage prevention improves your bottom line and keeps your workforce continuously focused on proactive work, improves your image and enhances your customer service. If your priorities are profits, productive employees, and happy customers, making damage prevention a high priority is an easy choice.
The TRUE Cost of Telco Damages
The cost of cut or damaged communications cable can easily be underestimated when only repair costs are tracked and documented.
Improve your understanding of the real costs of damages with this checklist based on insight from experienced professionals who have spent years working for communications companies.
What percent of hard and soft costs does your company collect? How do damages affect your brand?
Trackable Costs ________________
May or May Not Be Collected
- External Collection Costs/Agency Commissions
- Barricades/Traffic Control
- Permits (city/county/state/provincial) to install replacement cables
- Legal fees and litigation costs
- Exposing the damage for repair
- Materials used in repair
- Restoration of the area
- Actual cost of internal labour
- Heavy Equipment used
- Generator/Power Equipment
- Food, lodging, travel expense
- Emergency mobilization (Contractor/Locator)
- Loss of brand confidence, negative public feedback, difficulty maintaining customer relationships, especially large businesses, with inconsistent services
- Loss of 911/emergency services
- Businesses closing
- Employee down time
- Road closures/traffic delays
- Damage site investigator
- Collection efforts
- Out-of-service complaints
- lnsurance resolution discussions
- Overtime for unexpected increases in workloads
- Employee time/travel for deposition and trial
Overlooked/Difficult to Track
- Lost Customers
- Customer loss of use (refunds/credits)
- Resolution of customer complaints
- Engineering/reengineering due to the cut
- Establishing outage bridge to coordinate service interruption
- Support staff (3-20) for outage bridge
- Workload delays
- Future failure points (damages may weaken the system and lead to future failure unattributed to 3rd parties)
- Damage data capture and submission (software and /or manual)
- Emergency One Call ticket notifications
- Facility owner records updates
Reporting requirements (FAA, 911, PHMSA)
Our recently optimized sketching tool will help you better define your work site.
Please note that minor improvements have been made:
- The name of the “Work Line” tool has been changed to “Fence”. This tool should only be used when you are installing fence posts;
- You may now preview the work area while creating the sketch;
- Editing your sketch is still possible even if it is completed;
- Select the hand, and then click on the shape to modify
- You can modify the corners and/or the sides of the shape
- The small white square used to define the limits of the locating sketch is now blue.
These improvements will greatly simplify your work.
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